Paraguay: People & Society#

Population6,862,812 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Paraguayan(s)
adjective: Paraguayan
Ethnic groupsmestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%
LanguagesSpanish (official), Guarani (official)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 89.6%, Protestant 6.2%, other Christian 1.1%, other or unspecified 1.9%, none 1.1% (2002 census)
Demographic profileParaguay falls below the Latin American average in several socioeconomic categories, including immunization rates, potable water, sanitation, and secondary school enrollment, and has greater rates of income inequality and child and maternal mortality. Paraguay's poverty rate has declined in recent years but remains high, especially in rural areas, with more than a third of the population below the poverty line. However, the well-being of the poor in many regions has improved in terms of housing quality and access to clean water, telephone service, and electricity. The fertility rate continues to drop, declining sharply from an average 4.3 births per woman in the late 1990s to about 2 in 2013, as a result of the greater educational attainment of women, increased use of contraception, and a desire for smaller families among young women. Paraguay is a country of emigration; it has not attracted large numbers of immigrants because of political instability, civil wars, years of dictatorship, and the greater appeal of neighboring countries. Paraguay first tried to encourage immigration in 1870 in order to rebound from the heavy death toll it suffered during the War of the Triple Alliance, but it received few European and Middle Eastern immigrants. In the 20th century, limited numbers of immigrants arrived from Lebanon, Japan, South Korea, and China, as well as Mennonites from Canada, Russia, and Mexico. Large flows of Brazilian immigrants have been arriving since the 1960s, mainly to work in agriculture. Paraguayans continue to emigrate to Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, Italy, Spain, and France.
Age structure0-14 years: 25.04% (male 874,541/female 844,212)
15-24 years: 19.74% (male 680,998/female 673,534)
25-54 years: 40.56% (male 1,392,814/female 1,390,655)
55-64 years: 7.74% (male 270,769/female 260,300)
65 years and over: 6.92% (male 222,435/female 252,554) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 56.6%
youth dependency ratio: 47.2%
elderly dependency ratio: 9.4%
potential support ratio: 10.6% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.8 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 28 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.17% (2016 est.)
Birth rate16.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate4.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributionmost of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco, which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population
Urbanizationurban population: 59.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationASUNCION (capital) 2.356 million (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth22.9
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2008 est.)
Maternal mortality rate132 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 19.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 77.2 years
male: 74.5 years
female: 80 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.91 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate79.4%
note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2008)
Health expenditures9.8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density1.23 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
Hospital bed density1.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 94.9% of population
total: 98% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 5.1% of population
total: 2% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 95.5% of population
rural: 78.4% of population
total: 88.6% of population
urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 21.6% of population
total: 11.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.43% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS17,500 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths800 (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever

note: active local transmission of Zika virus by Aedes species mosquitoes has been identified in this country (as of August 2016); it poses an important risk (a large number of cases possible) among US citizens if bitten by an infective mosquito; other less common ways to get Zika are through sex, via blood transfusion, or during pregnancy, in which the pregnant woman passes Zika virus to her fetus (2016)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate15.1% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight2.6% (2012)
Education expenditures5% of GDP (2012)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.9%
male: 94.8%
female: 92.9% (2010 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2010)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 205,297
percentage: 15% (2004 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 13%
male: 10%
female: 17.8% (2014 est.)